Impact of Agulhas leakage on the Atlantic overturning circulation in the CCSM4

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Abstract

The impact of Agulhas leakage variability on the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) in the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4) is investigated. In this model an advective connection exists that transports salinity anomalies from the Agulhas region into the North Atlantic on decadal (30-40 yr) time scales. However, there is no identifiable impact of Agulhas leakage on the strength of theAMOC, suggesting that the salinity variations are too weak to significantly modify the stratification in the North Atlantic. It is argued that this study is inconclusive with respect to an impact of Agulhas leakage on theAMOC. Salinity biases leave the South Atlantic and IndianOceans too homogeneous, in particular erasing the observed salinity front in the Agulhas retroflection region. Consequently, salinity variability in the southeastern South Atlantic is found to be much weaker than observed. © 2014 American Meteorological Society.

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Weijer, W., & van Sebille, E. (2014). Impact of Agulhas leakage on the Atlantic overturning circulation in the CCSM4. Journal of Climate, 27(1), 101–110. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00714.1

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